To kick off this series, I decided to start off with the company that had the most variety to offer. Although they are headquartered in Miami, the majority of their products are produced at Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia in the Dominican Republic. Yes, you heard right, Fuente. Founded by Don Juan Sosa in Cuba many years ago, the company was revived in the Dominican years later by grandson Juan Sosa. From there, Sosa Cigars was born.
When I contacted the Antillian Cigar Company to inform them about my piece, I was greeted with open arms by Arby Sosa. Arby supervises several of the Sosa Cigar lines, and he was more than happy to oblige. They have a great site that is quite easy to navigate, provides just enough information, and it provides the ability to order some of the lower ends of their line. However, if you want the really good stuff, you either need to be a dealer, or be willing to buy by the box or bundle in dealer sized quantities. You can also find several tobacconists that are approved dealers by clicking here. The product arrived in 4 business days (from Miami to Dallas, Texas), which tells me that they shipped the product promptly. The box I received was slightly damaged, but fortunately they packaged the product with great care, and none of the sticks were damaged. Although the sticks were not packaged with any humidification, they were sealed in ziplocs and felt perfectly humidified to the touch. When shipping is that fast, I guess you don’t really need it.
Several lines are offered by the Antillian Cigar Company, ranging from classic smokes, to smokes that may appeal to the next generation of aficionados that like cool and peculiar smokes. In a nutshell, they have all their bases covered, and they don’t leave a single smoker behind. You can view their full line here. Try to stop drooling on yourself, and let’s move on to the fun part.
*The following reviews are ordered from least favorite to favorite, not by rating.
Sosa Classic Wavell
5 x 50 MSRP $5.75 Rating: 7.9 / 10
With its super attractive, veiny, and oily Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, this stick is truly a beauty. However, the construction is slightly lacking. It’s a tad soft when squeezed, and the foot was cut at a slight angle. A spicy pre-light draw greets you with a lingering burn on the lips. The soft construction leads to an uneven burn, and an exploding ash. Billowing white smoke provides hints of wheat toast, light espresso, and autumn flavors that grip to your taste-buds for hours. All around, this is a good smoke.
60 by Sosa 660S
6 x 60 MSRP $7.00 Rating: 8.9 / 10
Unfortunately, I detest large ring smokes. So, when I received the samples and saw this beast, I was a little discouraged. This thing is down-right intimidating. Donning another Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, this cigar seems to have had a little more TLC in its production. The veins are extremely thin, the wrapper is ridiculously oily, and it is flawlessly constructed. Pre-light, this stick is extremely aromatic. I found hints of bourbon, earth, and walnuts, as well as an almost overwhelming spice. After an extensive fight to get this thing lit, I discovered an extremely complex bouquet of flavors and aromas. Olive oil, walnuts, mocha, hay, and oak, accompany a daunting 2 hour task to undertake. If only this smoke came in a smaller ring…
Sosa Family Selection Maduro
6 ½ x 56 MSRP $6.00 Rating: 9.3 / 10
Elegant, beautiful, dark, and oily. These are a few of my favorite characteristics in a Nicaraguan Habano Maduro. Thin veins meander diligently through a dark chocolate wrapper. Although the cap was sloppily placed on this stick, the rest of the construction was flawless. It took some minor surgery to get a free draw out of this stick, but once it opened up, I certainly wasn’t disappointed. The pre-light draw graced my taste-buds with chocolate, caramel, hazelnut, and a subtle spice. After an easy light, a plethora of thick smoke satisfied my appetite for nicotine almost instantly. A tantalizing array of dark chocolate and fine oak remained consistent throughout. The burn was abnormally perfect, and the ash hung on for about 3 inches. Simply fantastic.
Sosa Family Selection Connecticut
7 x 48 MSRP $6.00 Rating: 9.2 / 10
The lighter side of the Sosa Family Selection is quite the treat. A beautiful Ecuadorian Colorodo Conecticut wrapper hugs an amazing blend of Nicaraguan long fillers. There were a few damaged spots at the foot and just below the band, but the wrapper was smooth as silk. You absolutely can’t even believe the buttery sweet aromas that radiate from this stick. The billowing smoke produced brings flavors of buttered biscuits, toffee, and peanuts, and it pairs well with a rich golden ale. Unfortunately, the wrapper cracked half way to the point that I was unable to enjoy the last third of the smoke. Had the construction of this cigar been a little better, I would have given this smoke a much higher rating.
Underground Arcane Perfecto
4 ¾ x 41 MSRP $6.00 Rating: 9.6 / 10
This limited production smoke stole my heart, and possibly stole the top spot in my “favorite smokes of all time” list. Packaged in a black box with a logo designed by a Miami tattoo artist, this smoke also brings it home with the cool factor. This vitola is rolled into an interesting perfecto shape with a Habano wrapper, and capped on both ends with what appears to be a lightly shaded Connecticut wrapper. Overall, this stick has an odd, but cool, appearance. The smoke wallops with a huge ligero induced blast of nicotine. Flavors of mesquite wood, pecan, and bitter toffee, help accommodate the overwhelmingly powerful smoke. Throughout the hour it takes to smoke this little piece of art, you can’t help but notice that it just gets better and better. Find them, buy them, share them.
Antillian Cigar Company really has their act together, but there are a few areas that they can improve upon. First off, they need to get this product into more shops. There is no reason whatsoever that this product shouldn’t be in a walk-in humidor near you. Second, these smokes are very attainable, but you will need to go about obtaining them in a little different fashion than you are used to. Overall, this company really has the potential to grow into an amazing powerhouse. They embrace their history and traditional cigar making techniques, but they are certainly not afraid to think outside the box. Do yourself a favor, and try something different. Tell your tobacconist about Antillian Cigar Company, and sit back and enjoy the same game changing experience that I had the pleasure to enjoy. Thanks again to Arby Sosa, and the rest of the Sosa family.
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